NEW DELHI: Mixing business with pleasure is not always recommended, but some government officials on poll assignment are planning to do exactly that, taking their families along. Take Ravi Kumar (name changed), an official of the revenue department in Bengaluru. He has been deputed to the coastal town of Bhatkal in the Uttar Kannada area for election duty on April 23.
“I am taking my family along. My daughter has been eager to see the Murudeshwar statue near Gokarna for a long time. It is holiday season now and a perfect time to club my travel as a polling officer,” he says. Kumar was initially reluctant to go to Bhatkal as it is considered to be communally sensitive but changed his mind as the prospect of a family vacation to the nearby Gokarna and Mangaluru was alluring. Gokarna is a temple town and is often referred to as ‘cheap Goa’ for its beaches. It’s around 90 km from Bhatkal.
Rama Devi (name changed), a principal at a government school on the outskirts of Kurnool, has been assigned poll duty in Bhimavaram. After initial reluctance, she and her family have now planned to tie it with a subsequent vacation in the picturesque Papikondalu. “Since I am going to Bhimavaram on April 11, I decided to visit Papikondalu, too. The week-long break will help me de-stress,” she said. Papikondalu is around 75 km from Bhimavaram.
Venkatesh Prasad (name changed), a government school teacher in Vijayawada, has been assigned poll duty in Krishna district. He, too, plans a quick dash to the seaside town of Machilipatnam. “I needed a vacation. After looking for excuses to abstain from poll duty, I decided to accept it, as the beach is close to the place I have been deputed,” he said.